Multicultural Business Development Specialist
State Farm Insurance Companies
Michelle D. Hare received sound lessons in the “intangibles and soft skills of business” from her parents. “My mother taught me business etiquette, boardroom skills, to always sit in the front of the room and to relish being the only woman at the table,” she says. “While doing my homework, I watched my father open a phone book and make cold calls as he sold life insurance, all the while trying to explain the Pythagorean theorem to me.”
Dedication to homework paid off in a bachelor’s degree in urban and public policy studies and a master’s in applied public affairs/urban management from the University of Buffalo. Today, Hare is State Farm Insurance Co.’s Multicultural Business Development guru. She manages community sponsorships, branding and recruiting in the Asian, Hispanic and African-American markets of New York and New Jersey — a role that involves “consulting” to State Farm’s internal partners on how to market and advertise to these communities.
Hare also attended the Buffalo Academy for Visual and Performing Arts as a dance major. “I haven’t been able to dance for me,” she says, “but I do keep moving and get my ‘fix’ by teaching a variety of exercise classes, especially Zumba.” In 2005, she established M.A.J.E.S.T.I.C. (Majesticworkout.com.), a company that promotes wellness in urban communities via group exercise, personal training, nutrition counseling and life coaching. The company provides instruction in New York, Maryland, Ohio, Virginia and Georgia.
If Hare’s life story were to be described by the title of a song, it would be from two: “No More Drama” and “Just Fine” by singer/songwriter/record producer/occasional rapper Mary J. Blige. Hare explains: “The titles are appropriate if you know the lyrics of the songs and the drama that once was [in my life] and the happiness I now have. I finally realize that even with the valley moments, my life truly is ‘just fine.’”
Sports team: Buffalo Bills
Favorite comedian: Bill Cosby
Favorite food: Pizza